In a report published by Page Six, Rino Barillari, the paparazzo who snapped some highly controversial photos of Italian actress Asia Argento and French reporter Hugo Clément dancing in a Roman restaurant, admits his regret for snagging the photographs and immediately selling them to an Italian magazine.
The photographs were published on June 3, five days before Anthony Bourdain committed suicide in a French hotel room and was discovered by his longtime friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert.
The two chefs were in France together shooting for the latest episode of Bourdain’s hit television series Parts Unknown.
Argento was reportedly in Italy when Bourdain took his own life.
In a statement to La Verita, the photographer said that “If I had known, I would have stopped, a picture is not worth a life. If that shot triggered suicide… this would make me suffer.”
Barillari secured the shot of the two while they dined at Ristorante Camponeschi in Rome. “Everyone looked at them,” he also added. “She looked like a possessed doll… a scene of crazy sensuality.”
When the actress realized that her dinner get together had been photographed, she asked Barillari to delete the shots, he said.
Rose McGowan, actress and friend of Argento as well as another Weinstein accuser, released a statement to her followers that mentioned how Bourdain and Argento were in a “free relationship” as well as how they “loved without the borders of traditional relationships.”
Clément, a well-known journalist who reported in the field on issues in the Congo as well as the threats homosexual men encounter living in Tunisia, was also present in May at the Cannes Film Festival when Argento spoke out on how the picturesque French Riviera was also the location where notorious sexual offender Harvey Weinstein had assaulted her in 1997.
Aside from the photos of the pair simply dancing, Agostino Fabio, another Italian paparazzo, managed to snap photos of the Italian actress and the French reporter holding hands and hugging out and about around the ancient Italian city. These photos have also been removed from publication since then.
After his untimely passing, the former Parts Unknown star has spurred an outpouring of emotion from all corners of the television and food community, as well as from his countless fans that have been watching his programs and reading his books since his rise to stardom outside of culinary circles in the early 2000s.
Bourdain became well known from that time on for his no-holds-barred approach to food, travel, and interactions in general. His brilliant storytelling, blatant honesty, and willingness to speak whatever came to his mind are what solidified him as a star in his field.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.